Comfort by Candlelight...lush Winter desserts

Posted July 14th, 2012 by Mimi

Continuing my 'ugly but comforting' theme for candlelight dinners, I found myself turning to my Grandmothers cookbook for some ideas on desserts.

Remembering what a stickler I am for presentation, let's just say, light the candle, dish it up and enjoy, because these definitely fall into the 'it ain't pretty, but it's delish!' category! I'm not absolutely certain, but this may well have been the very first recipe I contributed to our wonderful Simple Savings forum.

This is an old, old favourite, that is almost magical in it's simplicity. It's my go-to recipe whenever I don't know what to have for dessert, or when we have unexpected guests. It's always a huge hit, and I love seeing peoples faces when I whip it up out of nowhere and nothing in under ten minutes!

Microwave Chocolate Self Saucing Pudding

Equipment required:

Microwave safe casserole dish

Measuring cups


Ingredients required:

3 tabelspoons margarine or butter, melted
2 tablespoons cocoa
1/2 cup sugar
1 tspn vanilla essence
1/ 2 cup milk
1 cup plain flour
2 teaspoons baking powder

Plus one cup of hot water for the sauce


Put all of your ingredients into your microwave safe dish.

Stir the lot until it's gluggy...don't worry about the lumps and bumps. Like all good ugly things, they add to it's charm.

Sprinkle with enough sugar to barely cover the mixture in the bowl.

Carefully pour one cup of hot water over the top, and sprinkle with more cocoa.

Microwave, uncovered, on high, for 6 1/2 minutes.

Serve in bowls to oohs and ahhs and hide the leftovers just in case you want seconds. It'll be a race for those, for sure!

As this one is very rich, I usually serve it with plain pouring cream. Ice cream or custard is almost overkill, but if your family have a super sweet tooth, then go for broke!

Then there was Paupers Apple Pie.

This was a big favourite as it required very few ingredients and was ready in mere minutes. When we have it these days, we kid ourselves that it's a healthy dessert, by serving it with natural yoghurt and a drizzle of honey.

Paupers Apple Pie

Equipment Required:

Non stick frypan or wok


Sharp knife


Serving plates

Ingredients required per serve:

One slice of bread

One apple

One teaspoon of caster sugar (normal sugar will do)

A pinch or more of Cinnamon according to taste

One teaspoon of butter or if you prefer, a generous spray of cooking oil, but for this one, butter tastes better

A blob of natural yoghurt or a scoop of ice cream to serve


Cut the crusts from your bread, and slice them into cubes. Cut the middle of the bread into cubes as well.

Peel your apple if you want but we like ours with the peel. Slice it into neat cubes.

Mix your sugar and cinnamon to make a fragrant cinnamon sprinkle. If you don't like cinnamon, then lemon zest and sugar is a great alternative with a nice tang.

Get your serving plates, cutlery and yoghurt or icecream ready to go.

Heat your pan over a medium high hotplate, and plop half of your butter in to sizzle and melt. When it's frothy, toss in your bread cubes and sprinkle them with a generous pinch of your cinnamon sugar. Toss them around until they're brown and crisp. Remove them from the pan and set them aside.

Melt the remaining butter and throw in the cubes of apple. Stirring constantly, add the rest of your cinnamon sugar. Turn the hotplate down to halfway, and continue to stir your apple cubes until they are warm but crisp and well coated in the cinnamon sugar.

Add the bread cubes back into the mix, and give it all a good stir, heating it well.

Serve immediately on little plates or in glasses, with a scoop of yoghurt or icecream on top. Drizzle with honey for extra yummmmm!

This one doesn't even need to look pretty. You'll love it for it's sweet self!

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